Beautiful and imaginative to look at as if the days of beauty and imagination were not over
Recently I've watched about 200 short animated films, from the very beginning of the medium (before 1910) up to this year. The '70's, '80's and '90's were amazingly strong. "Dreams and Desires - Family Ties" is however the single animated short this decade (other than the excellent 'Everything Will Be OK' from the same year), since the exquisite 'Father And Daughter' from 2000, that I like as much as the best from those earlier decades.
Animated shorts these days seem to be obsessed with details, irrelevant details. The clothes need to have almost the yarn that made them showing, the faces need to enclose eyes that are as near to actual eyes as they can be. Where is the imagination in that? Ideas appear to be being forgotten (or not thought up) for this wasteful and pedantic style to prosper (and take over.)
Pixar seem to be pioneers in the ugly animation and yet Ratatouille was for me, the best full-length film of its year. Their shorts though are like out-takes off the cutting room floor and yet bizarrely win Oscars. Short films though can be exquisite to look at and with perfectly formed and thought-out stories.
That's where "Dreams And Desires" comes in: hope yet for the short animated art, that it may be clinging on after all. Here we have a delicious drawn style, expressive rather than strictly accurate. The story is bursting with wit, rather than pandering for laughs as expected with full-length animated films. It's a short that could without appearing to force the point too much, be placed alongside 'Yozhik v Tumane', 'Surogat', 'Anna & Bella', 'The Band Concert', 'Le Chapeau', 'Une Nuit Sur Le Mont', 'When The Day Breaks', 'Balance' and 'Miest Kinooperator'.
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